“Ladybrille’s 15 Questions with . . .” is a feature that salutes some of the most important names in the fashion and entertainment industries around the globe, with a particular emphasis on Africa. We hope you are as inspired as we are with the brilliant men and women in these industries that make the world go round.
For prior Ladybrille’s 15 Questions With features, please click here.
Our feature today is with Obiora Obiwon, a music entrepreneur who operates his own indie label and now a gospel recording artist.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Describe your current career(s). What exactly do you do?
Obiora Obiwon: I am a gospel recording artist, music minister, songwriter and entertainment consultant. In other words I minister in music at both faith-based and secular events and I also provide music and entertainment solutions for individuals and corporate organizations.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: You just recently got married to a very gorgeous woman. Besides her beauty, how did you know she was “THE ONE?”
Obiora Obiwon: Thanks for the compliments. I guess partly because I was really looking for “the one” when I met her, so it wasn’t so difficult knowing she was the one, the more we got to know each other. At the point in my life when I met her, I wasn’t willing to try and date anyone unless I was fully convinced in my heart that they could possibly be “the one.” Definitely there were challenges and times of doubt but I guess crucial to our overcoming them was the fact that we shared a common faith, approached life and love with the same principles and believed in each other’s dreams.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What do you believe is the essence of life?
Obiora Obiwon: I believe the essence of life is for the pleasure of the Creator of life and for the demonstration of his awesome power. For us humans I believe that one starts to walk in the essence of life when one starts to live for something way bigger than oneself or our human wants and desires. I’ve discovered along the way that living for yourself is quite limited, unfulfilling, frustrating, depressing and never truly satisfying. It’s about discovering how you came here, the exact purpose for which you were created and living in line with this purpose. However it takes faith and trials of faith to be able to truly discover and live this way. I’ve personally discovered faith in Christ, walking intimately in His principles and teachings to be the only reality in all of this.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: How do you define success?
Obiora Obiwon: Success is discovering and living in the true purpose of your existence as designed by your Creator. It is being fulfilled and having peace of mind with your life, no matter your perceived level. One can’t really claim to be successful without having fulfillment and an internal peace.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Share with us your fondest childhood memories?
Obiora Obiwon: I remember being the break time toast of my high school classmates. They would gather round anytime there’s been a new Michael Jackson video or song because they know I’d sure have learned the moves and they’d bang the beats on the desks for me to perform the song and dance. It nearly got me in trouble though because our seniors (in higher grade classes) would get wind of it and then almost bully me into performing for them. Funny enough, they’d always be too thrilled to harass me any further and I’d usually get favors from them in school. From then on I started taking seriously the fact that I had something that people would always want me to give and make them happy. I also remember playing all the favorite childhood games of my time a lot and wanting to skip meals just to get a chance to play.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: As an independent music entrepreneur, you’ve managed to figure out the rough terrain of music distribution in Nigeria. Drop two tips for budding music entrepreneurs in that part of the world reading this?
Obiora Obiwon: The greatest challenges for most independent music entrepreneurs are 1) Capital for qualitative and competitive production and 2) connections and networking for promotion. On the other hand, the greatest assets an independent artist can have are: 1) the level of your talent and its development, 2) the level of creativity and excellence inherent in your material and 3) your character and doggedness.
The third asset is very important because even with a great product, it will still take time, consistency and your people skills to make an impact with an obviously qualitative and commercial material, considering the fact that you don’t have a big enough hype machine.
The first two assets are the only chance you stand against artists on major labels. You want to always put out music that is undeniably good quality music and above (average). This takes a lot of patience, scrutiny and time. An independent music entrepreneur can’t afford to be in a haste to put out new music, or to quickly abandon a project and go for a new one. At the same time he (or she) also has to know when to act fast on his (or her) next move, once his (or her) music has started catching on. The music business generally requires balance and uncommon wisdom. There’s no guarantee that you can repeat someone else’s formula and succeed. You have to find out what works for you and this comes with experience. I don’t think music business is for anyone who is scared to fail and as humans, these fears do pop up now and then.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What keeps you awake at night?
Obiora Obiwon: Spending time in worship or crafting music. I guess time with the wifey can be added to this list now as well. . . (Smiles)
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What drives you?
Obiora Obiwon: I want to leave this world empty. I don’t want to get to the other side and find out there were God-given potentials I could have harnessed if only I pushed a little harder. I dislike the thought of regret.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What inspires you?
Obiora Obiwon: Living for Christ and his Kingdom, that way I get to live for something way bigger than me and very real to me. In our world today that’s akin to being an alien but I find that I rise above fear, doubt, challenges and find the energy to go on if only I find my way back into his (God’s) presence and intimacy with him (God).
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What are the daily principles you live by?
Obiora Obiwon: I want to be a blessing to everyone I meet each day. I want to treat everyone like I want to be treated even though I know I might not get what I bargained for; I just believe there’s a reward in that. I want to live each day like it’s my last.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: When all is said and done, what is the legacy you hope to leave behind?
Obiora Obiwon: I will like to be known as that guy who sought to let the world know the truth and beauties of life through my life and music. I simply want my works to outlive me not only in the works themselves but in the lives healed and the lives inspired.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Tell us your favorite Nigerian cuisine?
Obiora Obiwon: There are four soups that are a delight to me when prepared correctly: Bitter leaf, Oha, Okra and Ogbono soup (meals from Eastern Nigeria). I love any of them over wheat meal or yam meal.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Where are you headed for your honeymoon?
Obiora Obiwon: (Smiles) We’ve scheduled it in parts. We’re currently done with part one and looking forward to part two early next year.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What was the last book you read?
Obiora Obiwon: “Father of Nations” i.e Enoch Adeboye’s biography
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What was the last piece of clothing you bought?
Obiora Obiwon: A nice fitted pair of boxer shorts.
F.a.t.h.e.r (Part 2)[audio:https://ladybrille.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/F.a.t.h.e.r-Part-2.mp3|titles=F.a.t.h.e.r (Part 2)]
Good to Me[audio:https://ladybrille.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Good-To-Me.mp3|titles=Good To Me]
Follow You feat.Nutty Josh[audio:https://ladybrille.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Follow-You-feat.Nutty-Josh.mp3|titles=Follow You feat.Nutty Josh]
Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.